Our first program, “Listening Tails,” was launched in 2014 at the Chestermere Public Library with the goal of helping children improve their reading confidence in a safe and enriching environment. Within months, teachers saw the positive results that therapy dogs brought to their students. Consequently, the Program was expanded into school settings. In late 2014, East Lake School in Chestermere was the first school to welcome and benefit from our Listening Tails program.
Shortly afterwards, the “Visiting Tails” program was created to brighten seniors’ days. Seniors who experience depression, anxiety, loneliness, boredom, or just miss their cherished dogs due to living in nursing homes were comforted by therapy dogs. The Prince of Peace Retirement Community seniors in Rocky View County were the first residents benefitting from our Visting Tails program. We currently visit nursing homes in Linden, Strathmore, Airdrie, Cochrane, Okotoks and Calgary.
As time progressed, it became very apparent that people’s lives were increasingly filled with stress. Consequently in 2015, our “Caring Tails" program was launched to help people destress and alleviate anxiety through therapy dog visitations. Caring Tails has proven extremely popular, with both teachers and students and even in some workplaces. A formal Agreement was entered into in the same year with the Rocky View School Board enabling any school to bring Listening Tails and Caring Tails programs into their classrooms.
In 2018, our Caring Tails hospital visits began at the Peter Lougheed Centre in Calgary. Currently, these visits have expanded into several hospitals in Calgary and Strathmore.
We have experienced significant growth not only geographically but also by the number of lives touched by our therapy dogs. As of mid-2021, we enrich people’s lives in forty-three schools, thirteen nursing homes, five hospitals, two libraries and one hospice. We currently have over 100 volunteers and 100 dogs helping the community.